Quite often I get asked when is the best day of the week to head away fishing in hope of avoiding crowded rivers . Obvious answer would be avoid the weekends , school holidays, public holidays or any other day which a public servant may be able to escape to wet a line but it just isn’t always the case. Fishing has been pretty good this season and the word is out and id say a good percentage of sick days are being used up with anglers catching the flu and cant be contacted. Sometimes a Wednesday can be crazy on the river and Saturday be relatively quiet, go figure?

The start of the week we had some lovely cold days with stunning conditions showcasing what winter in Taupo really has to offer, clear rivers, bright skies, mountain views and the need for layering to keep warm. Id say for the first time this winter I could call the fishing challenging and in one case even hard! I fished the Hine on one occasion for a half day and only hooked two fish, another guide experiencing the same hard day so that was ok. I fished the Tongariro on Monday and had one of the hardest days I can remember with only 1 fish landed for a full day. I see some websites, motels and fishing stores raving about the Tongariro but my guys only saw 1 fish all day. The Tongariro looks amazing in full clear winter conditions carrying a good amount of water but personally I haven’t seen any fish as yet, it will be a late season as usual and or will fire again after the next rain. I actually fished again this morning with clients from a motel in Turangi and as they were told the river was on fire and the best for twenty years I thought it was best we gave it a go. We watched 12 anglers in sight of the main road bridge and another 6 in front of the lodge and gave it a go for two hours for no sightings of fish. With this day threatening a skunking I quickly jammed them in the truck and got them on the hine for their last couple of hours where they landed 8 with no problem.  Happy clients, happy guide and a decision which was vital to achieve a tick for the day.

Looks like we are in for some more rain over the next few days and id assume all rivers will again receive some sort of push of fish from the lake. The next month or so should see the Tongariro fire and really come into its own, its a late producing river now which suits us just fine. I will assume the Hine will slow up with silver bullets , it has already had a long season of running trout so one would think it will stop at some stage. Of course, this doesn’t mean it wont continue to fish well as we will at some stage see trout holding up for spawning buy also returning from their upper river duties.

Personally im looking forward to swinging some wet flies in the larger sections of the Tongas, I love feeling the tug of a solid rainbow in fast water just as the line tightens up on the swing. I stick with fishing rabbit patterns, they have wonderful movement in the river and look just like smelt which after this summer they know exactly what they are. Wet lining also takes some very solid trout , its not very often that a slab chases down a swinging wet especially in deep flowing water. I find using sink tip lines the best way to cover water and get that fly in behind rocks and down the side of deep channels. A sink tip line if managed effectively can be mended and controlled, a full sink or intermediate can wrap around everything in the run and steer your fly into a snag more often than not. Like most things know and pick your battles, water choice is vital.

Glo bugs have actually been pretty good this season so far. I actually hardly tied one on last season but with higher water and quite often coloured conditions they have been effective. When nymphing I always run a three fly rig and will get clients to use this also if they can control them. I always tie the glo bug in the middle as the centre fly but always try and fish the smallest one possible especially in clear water , trust me they will see it. Running three gives them and you options, its a great way of finding what they are preferring to eat but the glo bug will work as an attractor to that stubborn angry jack. Don’t forget the use of split shot when needed this will save you tying knots and plenty of time, add quickly and efficiently with teeth.

The next few days will be a good time to be in the area, trout should run for the next few nights with no moon and cold rainy conditions.

Hope to see you

Andrew